Visiting Sydney, Australia

Host of the 2000 Olympic Games Sydney is an always popular city with plenty of free entertainment, and with this in mind we arrived on a day the weather was not at its best but fair enough to do some siteseing and perhaps most important, try to figure out how we were going to get to Melbourne from Sydney without spending a fortune.

Thus we almost spent our two first days in internet cafes, with an occasional walk not too far. But it proved very usefull. During the second day I leraned that Travellers Auto Barn (one of the large camper van rental companies in Australia) was hosting an open door day nearby and including a free BBQ and a raffle that would give away 7 days worth of camper van rental of a Hi-top campervan. All you had to do was guess how many jelly beans were in a jug and the person who got closest would be the winner.

The day was a complete fiasco weather-wise, with thunder and rain pouring all morning and keeping visitors away. But alas that ended up being good for us because guess who won? We! Not only did we eat great free barbecue food all morning but we also got the free rental for seven days drop off in Melbourne. And if that wasn’t enough when I asked if I could pay for two extra days we got those for free as well. The staff was very kind and entertaining, and I would like to thank them for all their help and support. Final note: when learning that we would spend our 5th anniversary in it they surprised us with a bottle of sparkling wine. Woohoo!

As far as tourism goes we did the mandatory: the Opera House, the Royal Botanical Gardens and walking across Harbour Bridge in one day, Bondi beach on another and the CBD with some shopping on another. There is plenty of walking to be enjoyed, so don’t cut corners if you have the time. As a last tip try visitng the Anzac War Memorial once the night is in- wild yet peacefull possums abound on the trees around it waiting to be portrayed with your camera, providing great entertainment for kids and adults alike.

This leads me to the last surprise of our Sydney visit. For the second time in our trip we contacted somebody through couchsurfing (read more about our couchsurfing experiences and what this is ), and this time our host was Tim. Right off the bat I got the feeling he is a nice person willing to make friends and meet people. But this said, we didn’t expect him to be as kind as he is, picking us up from the hostel on day one, taking us to the city the next…

We cooked a Mexican-Spanish dinner on the first day, and during that evening we all realized we were getting along very well and a good friendship was starting. We also had a chance to meet his daughter Amelia who turned out to be a riot at just 8 y/o, as well as his brother and wife.It was very interesting to listen to his stories and experiences, as well as his brother’s anecdotes (he’s a pilot in the Australian Air Force).

Tim and Amelia

It was like this that a week went by, but what else could we ask for? We had 9 more days of campervan travel for free, had had the chance to visit Sydney (here’s a guide for you to visit Sydney in one day), and made a friend who will visit us in the near future. And with all these memories we started out third roadtrip: Sydney to Melbourne.

Have you visited Sydney? It’s a fantastic city, don’t you think? What do you like best?

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